AKA: 4:3Fullscreen is a term used to describe the shape of the picture a movie is displayed in order for it to fill a regular (as of 1998) TV screen. At the time of writing, most TVs are squarer than the newer widescreen TVs on the market. With these older sets, for every 4 inches/cm of horizontal screen size there are 3 inches/cm of vertical size, hence a 4:3 aspect ratio. Widescreen TVs have 5 and 1/3 inches/cm horizontal size for each 3 of vertical. Rather than write that as 5.333:3, we use 16:9. So fullscreen=4:3, widescreen=16:9. When a movie is played in fullscreen format for a 4:3 TV, the movie is almost always adjusted to fit. You may be familiar with the phrase this movie has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit your TV. What that almost always means is that much of the original picture has been thrown away, i.e. the pan and scan procedure has been used to pick the most appropriate pieces of the picture to keep because the old TV screen is the wrong shape to show the whole picture. In terms of home cinema, fullscreen is inferior to widescreen and is often considered to be an unacceptable format. The 4:3 shape TV is expected to become obsolete over the next decade as TV moves to digital and HDTV formats, which are widescreen based. DVDs often offer both fullscreen and widescreen formats, however many are already only available in widescreen and anamorphic format, so as to cater for the growing audience of home cinema enthusiasts who have already abandoned fullscreen.
imdb Movie Terminology